Will the Blue Jackets trade their first round pick to avoid selecting Russian prospects? Could the Canadiens new GM look at acquiring Alexander Radulov?  Could the Avs shop Peter Mueller this summer? Will Jonas Gustavsson return with the Leafs? 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson dismissed the rumor his club might trade their first round pick, which could be first overall in this year’s entry draft “because the top-rated players in this year’s draft — Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko — are Russians, and the Jackets misfired on former high draft picks from Russia in Nikolai Zherdev and Nikita Filatov”.  He call it “hogwash”, saying it would “border on stupidity” not to include any player just because they’re from Russia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A more sensible rumor floating around has them shopping the pick for a number one goaltender. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if they retained that pick for themselves and used it to select the best available prospect, regardless of nationality.

Could Canadiens target Radulov this summer?

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek examined what could be in store for the Montreal Canadiens under a new general manager, advising not to expect a magical turnaround. He did, however, float an “intriguing possibility” of hiring Patrick Roy as GM and possibly targeting one of Roy’s former proteges, Nashville Predators winger Alexander Radulov, as well as perhaps drafting Nail Yakupov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Roy becomes the GM, it’s possible they could try to land Radulov. They would also draft Mikhail Grigorenko, who currently plays for Roy in Quebec. Anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, as we don’t know who the Habs will hired as GM, but the Roy scenario will certainly have Canadiens fans chattering until the club officially announces who their choice will be. And if it is Roy, unleash the Radulov/Grigorenko rumors!

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater, in response to a reader’s question regarding oft-injured Avalanche forward Peter Mueller, suggested the club may look to trade him this summer. Mark Kiszla recently lamented the Avs lack of star talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Avalanche shop Mueller, his injury history could make him tough to move. They shouldn’t expect much of a return. It’s a shame, as Mueller had so much promise, but a series of concussion injuries have taken a toll.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson faces an uncertain future. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be surprising if the Leafs re-sign him.